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City on Wheels

city city on wheels mercury infrastructure space

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#1
Jakob

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Nomadic city that rolls along on caterpillar tracks by Manuel Domínguez

 

A nomadic city moves from place to place like an enormous tank in this conceptual proposal by architecture graduate Manuel Domínguez.

Entitled Very Large Structure, the futuristic megastructure is designed to wheel itself from one location to another to find better economic and physical conditions. Rather than using up the resources of the places it visits, it would be able to produce its own energy and establish new buildings before moving on.

 

Total length would be 560 meters. It could be built with today's technology.

 

The most obvious use I see for such a structure, however, is not on Earth at all. It is on Mercury. If this structure can be made to roll along at about 7 mph (perhaps powered by the abundant solar energy--according to my calculations, you would get nearly 10,000 watts per square meter so close to the sun) you can keep up with the terminator line and stay in perpetual twilight and earthlike temperatures.

 

Very-Large-Structure-by-Manuel-Dominguez

 

Very-Large-Structure-by-Manuel-Dominguez

Very-Large-Structure-by-Manuel-Dominguez

Credit: Manuel Dominguez

Basically imagine these with massive solar arrays attached and you have what I think a Mercury colony will look like. Will's timeline has something like this, but on rails instead of caterpillar tracks. I think this version is more badass and self-reliant, better able to adapt if something goes wrong.

 

And in my future canon, the first colony on Mercury will be called Dominguez City. It'll be established in the 2140s.


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#2
voluntaryist

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Rails would entail a much smoother ride.


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#3
Jakob

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Rails would entail a much smoother ride.

Sure, maybe. But caterpillar tracks offer more flexibility. With rails, you basically have to tread the same course endlessly and you're dependent on the train and the tracks not malfunctioning. Shock absorbers would certainly help regardless.

 

Addendum: with regards to power, small modular nuclear reactors would be a good additional power source, as there is uranium on Mercury.


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#4
kjaggard

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rails would require circling the planet around it's rotational axis, half of which is in searing inferno of sunlight and the other in darkness. That would test even the best materials ability to withstand extremes. not to mention landscape shifting under, over or around the rails. With redundancies in tread it would make a tread arrangement much more dependable and sustainable.


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#5
Cartesian Logic

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This reminds me of a book series I read in high school called Mortal Engines. Basically the threat of a nuclear holocaust lead to cities becoming mobile and would "eat" each other (battle each other and the victor would scavenge anything useful to upgrade itself).

#6
Erowind

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Thought: Is is it possible to circumnavigate mercury without encountering mountainous or otherwise jagged terrain? I mean this city could obviously handle hills but what happens when it encounters something akin the swiss alps or grand canyon?


Current status: slaving away for the math gods of Pythagoras VII.


#7
Jakob

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Thought: Is is it possible to circumnavigate mercury without encountering mountainous or otherwise jagged terrain? I mean this city could obviously handle hills but what happens when it encounters something akin the swiss alps or grand canyon?

Blast a hole in 'em with nukes.


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#8
_SputnicK_

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This reminds me of the elephant vehicle from the Halo series:

Elephant_1up.jpg

 

I think it could work, provided there was an actual need for it. I mean, besides perhaps as a carrier for transportable shelter, I can't think of what intrinsic purpose it could serve on earth.


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#9
Cartesian Logic

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My bad. It turns out the series is called Predator Cities. Mortal Engines is the first book. Universal is going to be making a movie on the series set to release December 14, 2018. I would post some concept art pictures, but I'm on mobile and it seems my phone has bested me.
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#10
LWFlouisa

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I know of a city of wheels. (Redneck humor alert)

 

A large 20,000 party of SUVs and RVs filling up the interstate superhighway.


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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: city, city on wheels, mercury, infrastructure, space

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